Then and Now

Malmsmead 1971
Tom Troakes
Malmsmead 2016
Helen Blackman

Since 1958, the Exmoor Society has collected thousands of 35mm slides and over the past two years we have digitised as many of them as possible. They are a valuable record of Exmoor, showing how the landscape has changed gradually (and not so gradually) over the decades. Those that show people, street scenes and livestock also show social changes. To create a continuing record of the moor, its people, landscape and animals, we are retaking these photographs and noting more precisely when and where they were taken.

The principle is simple – go to the same spot the old photo was taken and retake it. In practice, the Society’s archivist has found it isn’t always easy to locate the exact same spot! Since we have over 1500 slides depicting locations across the moor, the task is enormous and we are seeking people to get involved and help us retake these historical photographs.

We have begun the work of dividing the photos up by parish so that you can download those for the area you choose to walk in. This gives the added bonus of allowing for virtual tours around each of the Exmoor parishes! If you would like to see the photos of Luccombe parish added so far, click here. Where possible, they have been saved with a year in front of them so you can take a trip through time as well.

So if you fancy doing some detective work and seeing how Exmoor has evolved, please contact the archivist on exmoorsocietyarchivist@gmail.com or 01398 323335 for details of the project.